Saturday, January 21, 2012

Hola, me llamo Ángela

Like promised, here is a proper update about my life 2.0 in España.

Let me start off by saying, my move to Spain was no easy transition. I cried I think almost every day for the first couple of days, and I couldn't exactly explain to you now what were the reasons for these sorrowful tears, but they were sorrow filled, indeed. I seriously contemplated for about a day of taking a semester off and going back to Nashville, or some how find a way to re-enroll myself into BU. I thought about dropping a level in my program, I thought about this, and I thought about that, and throughout the day I would be okay, and the moment I got back to my homestay, my mood plummeted, and I was in despair. I wanted to figure out a way to escape the pain and misery I was feeling, but through it all, God showed me mercy and grace. So much mercy. So much grace. And even more love.

I haven't figured everything out yet, and everything is NOT perfect. Quite far from it, actually. But I am no longer on the phone talking with my parents about me not liking it here, not wanting to be here. YES FOR IMPROVEMENT! :) I wish I could go more into detail about the process, and my current state, but I feel 1) I haven't really processed all of it for me to be able to write publicly about it yet 2) I'm not convinced people want to read paragraphs of my internal thoughts and emotions. At least, not all at once.

So here I am, second (and much improved) weekend in Madrid, having just finished my comida(lunch), sort of wanting to give in and take my siesta, but instead updating my blog. :)


I have had one week of class, which actually isn't apart of la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid(la UAM for short), and the first class was awful, the second class was better, and the third, much much better. I don't understand a lot of what the professor says, but rather than be discouraged, I decided to look at it this way: I came to Spain to learn Spanish, not because I already spoke Spanish. Therefore it is okay for me to not know what the HECK is going on.

Starting Monday, I'll be starting the rest of my classes at la UAM, and so long as I don't change my classes, I'll have class from Monday to Thursday, 9:00AM to 12:15 PM. Only downside is that my commute is about 40~50 minutes, and so that means I have to wake up around 7 every day for class. Let's just say that I'm not much of a morning person. Problem.

As for meals, breakfast is supeeerrrr light (which I'm not a fan of quite yet), lunch is very heavy, and dinner is about average. I live with a señora in a small apartment very close to la Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas, where they have the bull fights in Madrid.


Some places I've been able to visit so far:
  • Museo de Sorolla
  • (just a little bit of) Parque del Buen Retiro
  • (outside of) Palacio Real
  • (small section of) Museo del Prado
  • Plaza Mayor
  • Plaza de España
  • Puerta del Sol
Technically I've been to a lot of plazas. They are everywhere. But those are some of the more famous places that I've been to and been able to walk around in. Need to do a lot more exploring, and a lot of eating. :)


Churros con chocolate at a very famous (apparently) and touristy chocolateria.
The famous Goya painting in El Prado.
Got in trouble by a Spanish lady for taking a picture of this...Didn't know I wasn't allowed to. >.<
The above, and the next two are pictures from Sorolla's museum, which is actually his house that was transformed into a museum. Went in on a whim with a friend to kill some time, and what a treat! They let us in for free! :)

I'll post more later, but that's all for now. :)


Small cultural things:

There is a bidet in the bathroom.

Some people here are realll friendly. Yesterday, I was sitting on a bench outside of the Prado waiting for friends, and these two Spanish girls come up to me and strike up a conversation, and we even almost exchanged phone numbers. The conversation with these two complete strangers lasted a good 15 minutes, and we talked about politics, language, and even religion. HAHA

The coffee here is really strong. Café is basically a shot of espresso. And therefore café con leche (coffee with milk) is what most people drink.

I don't know if it is only for this week or something, but at the cafeterias at UAM, they sell beer and wine. As do basically everywhere else that has anything remotely close to selling food.

There are many more, but I'll just leave it here. This post is already really long. I guess that's what I get for procrastinating. And plus I have to meet a friend at the Palacio Cristal at 4:30, no biggie.


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